Esther 4 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)
4 When Mordecai became aware of everything that had happened, he ripped his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, went out into the middle of the city, and let out a loud, bitter cry. 2 He went right up to the king’s gate, even though no one clothed with sackcloth was allowed to enter it.
3 In every single province that was reached by the proclamation of the king and where his decree was posted, there was great mourning, fasting, weeping, and lamenting among the Jews. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4 When Esther’s female attendants and her eunuchs came and told her what had happened, the queen agonized over it. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai so that he could take off his sackcloth, but he did not accept them. 5 Esther summoned Hathak, who had been assigned from among the king’s eunuchs to attend to her. She ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what was happening and why.
6 Hathak went out to Mordecai in the public square in front of the king’s gate. 7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened and the exact amount of silver that Haman had said he would put into the treasuries of the king to destroy the Jews. 8 Mordecai also gave Hathak a copy of the written decree which had been issued in Susa to destroy the Jews, so that he could show it to Esther. Hathak was to place the responsibility upon her to go to the king to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.
9 So Hathak went and told Esther what Mordecai had said.
10 Esther spoke to Hathak and gave him directions to pass on to Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that it is the law that any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned will be put to death, unless the king holds out the golden scepter to him. Then he will live. But I have not been called to go to the king for thirty days.”
12 They told Mordecai what Esther had said.
13 Mordecai responded, “Take this message to Esther: Do not imagine that of all the Jews, you alone will escape because you are part of the king’s household. 14 If at this time you keep totally silent, relief and deliverance for the Jews will spring up from somewhere, but you and the house of your father will perish. Who knows whether you have become queen for a time like this!”
15 Esther responded to Mordecai, 16 “Go. Gather all the Jews who are found in Susa. Fast on my behalf. Do not eat and drink for three days and nights. I and my young women also will fast in the same way. After that I will go to the king, contrary to the law. And then, if I perish, I perish!”
17 Mordecai went away and did everything Esther had ordered him to do.